Our Nation's History Is Important
To effectively and compassionately deal with current domestic and world issues, it is extremely important for all Americans to know and understand the history of the United States of America. We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us . . .
Life In A Cold-Water Tenement Flat
Growing up (1894-1912) in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York, my father lived in a cold water tenement flat with his elderly grandfather and other members of his family. The only heat came from a wood/coal burning stove in the kitchen. No hot water was available, other than that heated on the stove. Gas wall lamps provided the light by which to see. For the most part, they were noisy, crowded, dingy, and foul smelling environments . . .
Thou Shall Not Reject Food
Meal choices were not a common occurrence in our home. My father told my mother what he wanted for dinner each night. As children, we ate what was placed in front of us and asked no questions.
On those rare occasions when I refused to eat something at the dinner table, such as parsnips, I would find that item in front of me at breakfast the next day. If I refused it again, it would appear that night on my plate. I quickly learned that parsnips and certain other items are best eaten when served. "Waste not, want not" wasn't just a saying in our home . . .
I have always been a small-town boy at heart. When you grow up and live in small-town
America, almost everyone knows you. I was the tall skinny kid with the crew cut and funny name that served ice cream with a ready smile . . .
A New Adventure: Iowa Beckons
In late 1959, I became restless and disenchanted with New York, Boston, and east coast living in general. I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew I needed to make a radical change . . .
A Taste of Midwestern Americana
The college and midwest were a major departure from my east coast experience; my interest was aroused. I had to give it a shot. If it didn't work out, I could just keep heading west . . .
Not The Perfect Husband
During the first three years of our marriage, my inconsiderate behavior gave Polly ample reason to regret marrying me. At times, I forgot that I had a wife waiting for me at home. Someone would stop by my office and invite me out for a drink after work. I would neglect to tell my wife. Yes, I'm sorry to say, it happened more than once
A Marriage Is Tested
Polly had not been totally in favor of my accepting the HNTB position. While I was living in Kansas City, she maintained the homestead in Iowa, held a full-time teaching assignment, and was the primary contact with our daughters attending The University of Iowa, in Iowa City. The stress of our jobs and our separation was taking its toll . . .
Along with the unavoidable bumps in the road, one of the great pleasures my career provided was the opportunity to travel (often accompanied by Polly) and enjoy the amenities associated with doing business in America.
Exploring various cities and playgrounds; staying in excellent hotels (most of the time); eating great American regional cuisine (some of the time); and having the pleasure of meeting and working with (mostly) interesting people, always made the challenges of modern travel worthwhile . . .
We Live In Harrowing Times
Since 1776, Americans (and our friends from other nations) have sacrificed their lives so that we might live in this great land, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Today, America needs a new vision. We are more concerned with what the country will do for us, not what we can do for the country.
To resolve most of our national problems, society needs to move away from the extreme attitudes held by the left and the right. We need to move toward more centrist points of view, those that are inclusive, not exclusive. We need to revitalize our national priorities. It's time to demand greater accountability and results from those we elect to serve and lead our nation. The clock is running. Time is not our ally . . .